Issue 81 - Feb/Mar 2021 | On Sale Mon 1st Feb 2021
Starting off with the good news, we have been flat out filming and editing the last few episodes of the new season of the TV Show due to go to air on February the 17th.
Despite the Covid restrictions limiting our roar hunts to private land, since then we have managed to complete some amazing expeditions and seen some amazing country and animals. I promise you your Wednesday nights will be busy watching TVNZs Duke channel for some time!
The process for compiling the tahr control operational plan for 1 July 2021 to 30th June 2022 is still ongoing. The next TPILG meeting is scheduled for the 16th March and we should have more information on the shape of the control plan following that meeting. There is no more culling inside the tahr management units to be done until that plan is finalised. There is work ongoing on tahr culling outside the feral range which everyone supports. One of the key issues is that both between the management units and within each unit it is not a one size fits all. However, this is how the current plan is structured. We need to have a greater degree of precision in how we manage tahr in each management unit. We have just come back from a big trip through Westland National Park. A couple of valleys had a few tahr but few nannies and either very little or old browse damage, and with the amount of culling done in there this year will need nothing for some time. Then just one catchment south still has far too many tahr even after the culling, the bulls had stunted horn growth and the bush has been completely opened up. Everything palatable has been eaten as far as the tahr can reach, and there are extreme examples of browse on snow tussock clearings down in the bush – to the extent the tussocks have been killed. This area needs a significant increase in culling, and may well need something like ground cullers using the latest technology to make a difference. Helicopters flying round creaming the odd easy animal off the tops and head basins is not doing the job here. DOC using their current aerial transect/plot regime have no idea how many tahr are in these densely bushed areas, so a blanket number of tahr per km² does not deal with issues such as this.
It’s been rather sad to see the number of stags shot in velvet showing up everywhere on social media at the moment - and very, very few hinds or yearlings. Please, please read what Cam and Roy and now Johnny have had to say yet again in this issue. Hunters in New Zealand must grow up fast and start to accept the very basics of game animal management. If we do not, we can’t complain if DOC and uncontrolled WARO steps in and “controls” our prized herds for us. And they will. Deer numbers are increasing beyond what is sustainable in a lot of areas. Continuing to shoot the stags and leave the hinds is just accelerating this problem. Do we really want to see another tahr debacle?
We need to show we are doing our bit by targeting yearlings and hinds, and leaving anything other than old cull stags at this time of year. Save the trophy hunting until the roar and through the winter, when the stags are real trophies and the best animals have at least had a chance to compete for the right to bred and pass on their genes. Again, please read Cam’s articles, and don’t think this doesn’t apply to me – it applies to all of us!
The Spot the Logo winners for Issue 80 are Callum Wood and Greer Fletcher. The logos were on page 53 in the Lyman ad and on page 91 in the LaundroMat ad.
With the roar not far away now, whether planning an expedition into somewhere new, or hunting old familiar ground - set your goals on what you are after and stick to them, evaluate your animals properly, and then you and anyone else in the area will be safe!Greg
In this issue:
- Main Divide Beauty – Harry Graham-Samson’s incredible stag
- Josh Morgan’s West Coast War of Attrition
- My NZ Hunter Rifle Build – Part Two – Luke Care
- NZ Hunter Roar Tips
- Kaweak Scrub Country by Liam Schlierike
- A New Approach for Game Management – Part Two – By Cam Speedy and Roy Sloan
- Highcountry by Horse - Luke Care
- Reloading Tooling – by Jared Hearsey
- Summer Chamois Habits – Cody Weller
- Pat Barrett – The Sleep-In stag
- Wynne Mckay’s Bucket List Stag
- Trophy Caping 101 by Points South
- Making it Work – Johnny Bissell
- Hunting in Namibia by Ashley Trobridge
- Lake Morgan Hut - Permolat
- Is it safe to eat? Part IX and Where There’s Coke There’s Hope by Corey Carston
- Venison Rump and Baked Beets by Richard Hingston
Test Fires: We Evaluate...
- Bergara Premier Mountain Rifle 2.0
- Ridgeline Microlite summer shirts
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